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Ulysses | 1954 | NR | – 4.4.1

content-ratingsWhy is “Ulysses” rated NR? The MPAA has not rated this film. The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes several implied sex scenes and kissing scenes, many cleavage revealing outfits and sheer fabrics that reveal additional nudity, many scenes of peril at sea and fighting against giant creatures and negotiating with supernatural beings, a few fight scenes with one ending with nearly all participants being killed with blood shown, and some name-calling. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”


An abbreviated telling of the “Odyssey,” Homer’s epic tale about the legendary Greek hero Odysseus; it is titled after the Latin name variant: After the end of the decade-long Trojan War, Ulysses (Kirk Douglas), the king of Ithaca, takes another 10 years to reach his home island, while suitors are extorting his wife Penelope (Silvana Mangano) to marry one of them. Also with Anthony Quinn, Rossana Podestà, Jacques Dumesnil, Daniel Ivernel, Sylvie, Franco Interlenghi, Elena Zareschi, Evi Maltagliati, Ludmilla Dudarova, Tania Weber and Piero Lulli. Directed by Mario Camerini. [Running Time: 1:34]

Ulysses SEX/NUDITY 4

 – A man and woman kiss in bed (sex is implied) and a man and a woman kiss in a few scenes. A man lies in a bed (presumably nude) covered by a sheet (we see his bare chest and abdomen) and he gets up to dress; a woman’s dress reveals cleavage and bare legs to the hips (sex is implied). A man holds a woman and kisses her until she pulls away. Men kiss women on the neck during a feast and the women’s dresses reveal cleavage; a man pulls one of the women away and yells at her. A man hears what he thinks is his wife’s voice as she talks about being alone in his bed waiting for him.
 A woman’s dress reveals nipples through the sheer fabric. A man is shown draped with a sheet while he lies on a table after a wrestling match (we see his bare chest and abdomen). A woman’s off-the shoulder dress reveals cleavage and bare shoulders as well as bare legs to the hips; a man’s bare chest and abdomen are seen when she finds him unconscious on the shore. Men’s clothing includes short kilt-like garments that reveal their full legs to the upper thighs, throughout the movie; women’s outfits include low-cut and cleavage revealing and exaggerating bodices customary to the fashion of the time. Male statues are seen fully nude with bare chests, abdomens, genitals and legs visible. A male statue is shown with a leaf covering the genitals (bare chest, abdomen and legs are visible). Many male servants in a home are shown shirtless and we see their bare chest and abdomens and bare legs to the upper thighs. A man bathes wearing a cloth wrap around his waist (his bare chest, abdomen, back and legs are seen).

Ulysses VIOLENCE/GORE 4

 – A man and a young man fight many men locked in a room with spears thrown, arrows shot and swords slashing: a man is strangled and an axe is brought down on a man’s head, off-screen; the men yell as they fall with some bloody wounds shown and one man is shown with very bloody hands after all the others are killed. A giant cyclops enters a cave and rolls a boulder over the entrance to block it as men inside yell and try to get away; the cyclops grabs a man and holds him in the air while other men look panicked (it is implied that the cyclops tears the man apart or eats him; we do not see this). We see a ship in rough seas as water washes over the deck and men yell and scramble to secure the sails; many heavy items are thrown overboard including gold and a statue as the mast cracks (we see the men after the storm, landing on an island). Men sharpen the end of a large club to a point and when a cyclops passes out from drinking too much wine, they blind him with it; he yells, “I will kill you,” and thrashes around as the men dodge him. A cyclops throws a boulder at a ship in the sea and it throws the ship around briefly. A ship is thrown in very rough seas and a man watches, calling out, “They’re drowning,” and a woman says, “They are already dead.” A ships sails near rocks where sirens’ songs try to entice them to crash onto the rocks (we see shipwrecks and skeletons strewn on the rocks); one man is tied to a mast and pleads with his men to land insisting that they are home, while the men plug their ears with wax and continue to row away to safety. A man draws a knife on a woman and tells her to transform his men back to human form (she had turned them into pigs). A man draws a sword on a young man and they speak, eventually recognizing each other. A man threatens a young man and later tells other men that the young man should be killed.
 A reenactment of the story of the Trojan horse and the sacking of Troy is shown with armed men hiding inside a large wooden horse being pulled into a city where the men exit the horse and attack other men inside with slashing swords and we see men trapped in flames; we hear that the city was sacked and burned and that men died by the 100s.
 A woman whips another woman as she lies on the floor moaning (we do not see strikes or injuries). Men wrestle in a ring while people watch and cheer; one man is thrown a few times, one man head-butts the other man, one man is kicked and thrown into the air, and one man wraps his legs around the other man’s neck and slams the man’s head into the ground several times knocking him unconscious. Several men throw spears at a younger man’s feet and mock him after he yells at them for taking advantage of his mother’s household (he is not harmed). A man kicks pigs and orders them away before realizing that they are his men. Men compete to see who can string a king’s bow and none of them is able to it; they yell and complain that it has been cursed by the gods and that it is a trick until one man is able to string it and shoots an arrow through many ax handles holes with one shot.
 Men go ashore on an island and as one man searches the area, the other men disappear; we see later that they have been turned into pigs (they are turned back into humans and are unharmed later). Men find a huge footprint in the sand on an island and enter a cave where there are oversized tools and baskets of food; they grab a few sheep and steal them for food (we see a sheep spinning on a spit).
 A man sees the ghosts of men that have died and one man talks of a knife having been plunged into his throat, and a woman appears and the first man realizes that is the ghost of his mother. A man pets his old dog as it whimpers and recognizes him although he’s disguised. A woman is shown angrily cursing a man and his army. Men argue with a woman over choosing one of them to marry. A man asks another man, “Did you bleed him?” (presumably to cure of his memory loss). A man yells at another man. Men argue in a few scenes about getting home and continuing a journey. A young man complains that his mother is losing faith in his father returning to them.
 Many men live in a woman’s house waiting for her to choose one of them to marry since her husband has not returned for many years. We understand that a woman has made an agreement with men to choose one of them to marry once she completes a tapestry; we learn that she stitches the tapestry during the day and unstitches it at night to delay them. A man begs from men gathered in a home and one man kicks the dish he is holding out of his hands, and another man throws wine in his face and mocks him, calling him names.
 When found unconscious on the shore a man is shown with blood on his elbow. Men stomp on grapes to make wine (a lot of wine) for a cyclops. A woman’s skin is green-tinged and she is called a witch.

Ulysses LANGUAGE 1

 – Name-calling (bullies, hideous suitors, disgusting strangers, nursemaid, little men, petty dreams, miserable, spy, mad, too fat, filthy spy, useless, loudmouth, braggart, old, desperate, stupid, fools, cowards, drunken sightless giant, monsters, slave, merciless, witch), exclamations (oh dear), religious exclamations (a woman prays to the goddess Athena). | profanity glossary |

Ulysses SUBSTANCE USE

 – Men drink wine from a bladder, a cyclops drinks wine and yells for more, and men are shown drinking wine in several scenes.

Ulysses DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – The Trojan War, The Odyssey, adventure, love, omens, revenge, savagery of war, cunning, hubris, grief, fate, sorrow, loneliness, memories, destiny, bitterness, weakness, immortality, courage, dreams, the unknown, sacrifice, Greek Mythology, doubt, fear, memory loss, deceit.

Ulysses MESSAGE

 – Arrogance will get you into trouble, but cleverness may get you out.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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